Face to face with different reality

November 16, 2007

I had a breakfast today with a man who served in US army special forces. His job was to train foreign governments on how to take down rebels and underground fighters, or to train rebels and underground fighters on how to take down government. Did you know that a small country can be overtaken within 48 hours by 25 well trained man? Well, he would be one of those men that could do the overtaking. I was fascinated by him, asked him millions of questions and he gave me more answers that I would believe he could — though, admittedly, he often would stumble upon stuff he could not say, nor was he very specific or definite about anything. What was truly fascinating however was the air of detachment around him. This is something I could feel clearly but may have trouble describing, so please bear with me – we sat in a little restaurant eating our eggs, and it felt as though he was visiting the restaurant. He didn’t belong there, the restaurant was not part of his reality. It felt as though the restaurant, his car, the town – could just disappear any moment, and he would not change. His reality would not change. He said that nothing much upsets him now, that he doesn’t worry about the everyday matters. He said his perspective is different – he doesn’t look at things or think in terms of this one job, this one company, this one city – he thinks in terms of countries, continents. Having flown to many countries around the world, knowing few languages fluently – and I mean fluently, to the point where he can pass for a native, having overthrown some governments and having installed some more – he doesn’t get upset cause there is traffic in a morning. His world is much larger than the particular city he lives in. He left the military a while ago, he has a job now, he starts a new company, he needs a logo design – just like every other client. And yet there is the aura of invisibility about him, again – of being detached from the reality that most humans inhabit. He admitted that he’s good in remaining invisible, keeping low profile, remaining hard to track down. So what is so different about him? Other than the fact that he knows things most people don’t – this in itself would not make such a difference. I think that it is in the way he thinks. He says: military taught me how to think, there is nothing I cannot do. There is a task to accomplish, and all I have to do is to get it done, to find a way, create a plan. I think there is still more to it, I think it’s the understanding of how world gets organized, understanding of the forces that design it and having an experience of influencing it himself, that gives him this perspective. If he can plan out overthrowing a government or taking over a country, he is the one in control. He is the one shaping the reality. He is not ruled by anything. He makes a conscious decision whether he agrees and follows – or whether he disagrees, and, well, does whatever he would do in such situation… Most of human beings do not assume this level of responsibility – a government, an economy, progress, technology – those are all forces beyond our understanding, beyond our influence, ruling us. We can only struggle to find our place within “the program”. We do not create the program. Not so with this man. He does create the program. Like an artist creating a work of art – he creates his reality. He said that military training told him this: whenever two human beings meet it may go one of two ways: there can be cooperation or a conflict. He said that often when a person comes up to him being aggressive he tells him just that: this can go two ways: we can cooperate, or there can be conflict. It’s your choice which way this will go. He said: when I say that the person usually backs away and leaves. And sure enough – as he was saying it I started backing away. Unconsciously. My body felt clearly, and my mind agreed, that this man could kill me within a second with a plastic spoon. He is a sweet, very nice man. We had a great conversation and he gave me a big hug at the end of it. We agreed to meet for lunch sometime soon. He introduced me to his two dogs, told me that he believes the most important thing in life is to help change the world, make it a better place, to be a moral person and to be kind to others.

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